May 27, 2004
Gilbert is exploring the possibility of sharing a library facility with a high school in the south part of town.
The Town Council on Tuesday asked for more information about a possible partnership with either the Gilbert or Chandler unified school district, while deciding against speeding up plans for a standalone facility to complement the Maricopa County-run Southeast Regional Library.
Assistant town manager Marc Skocypec said the high school library would be double the typical size to serve both the students and general public. A similar agreement is already in place between Chandler and the Chandler district.
The council did express concerns about intermingling the public with high school students and the availability of the facility during school hours.
Skocypec, who has not formally met with the districts, is expected to present more information to the council next month.
"The window is small to partner on this issue," Skocypec said. "The schools are being planned as we speak."
Two possible sites are a future Gilbert district high school between Germann and Pecos roads and west of Val Vista Drive, and a future Chandler district high school on Queen Creek Road, between Val Vista and Greenfield Road.
Gilbert’s long-range capital plan seeks a stand-alone south area branch library to be built more than five years from now. The cost is expected to be $5 million, but the town hasn’t decided how to pay for it or identified a site.
"I’d like to focus on how to pay for essential services like police and fire before biting off something additional," said Councilman Dave Crozier of the town building its own library, an opinion echoed by other council members.
The council discussion was held after the group approved an agreement with the county that extends the county’s funding of the Southeast Regional Library at Greenfield and Guadalupe roads through 2016, at about $2.5 million per year. The County Board of Supervisors must approve the agreement.